Making home adaptations a health priority

This week has seen yet more negative articles about older people, now labelling those who choose to live in their current home as ‘hogging family homes’. Not only does this negative language drive intergenerational strife, but it also deflects attention from the underlying problems of a dysfunctional housing market.

This emotive promotion of the benefits of moving to retirement housing doesn’t exactly support our efforts to make the case for the continuation of help with home adaptations, the best and often the only housing solution for the majority of older people, particularly those on limited incomes.

This week we have published two more Notebook Cameos describing local agencies that are doing great work helping many hundreds of older people live well at home through home adaptations. These unsung heroes are finding ways to deliver adaptations faster and cheaper, resulting in huge benefits not only in quality of life for individuals, but saving money for health and social care.

Unfortunately as far as media stories goes, pictures of adaptations can’t match the glamorous images of aspirational retirement show homes populated by impossibly elegant 60-somethings.

The unglamorous housing and ageing reality is normal homes with relatively simple changes that enable occupants to use an ordinary looking bathroom and get up and down stairs.

Sue Adams, CEO of Care &Repair England [Sept 15]